The Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks are set to meet once again on Tuesday evening, rekindling a rivalry that dates back to their 2023 NBA Playoffs encounter. Both teams are starting the 2023-24 season with a 1-2 record. The game will take place at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, where the Knicks, currently at 1-1 on the road, will be looking to secure their first win of the season at home. Notably, Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen are sidelined for the Cavaliers due to injuries, while Donovan Mitchell and Caris LeVert are listed as questionable with hamstring issues.
According to the SportsLine consensus, the New York Knicks are slight 2-point favorites in this matchup, with tip-off scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET. The over/under for the total number of points is set at 214 in the latest Knicks vs. Cavaliers odds. Before making any predictions, it’s advisable to consider insights from SportsLine’s advanced computer simulation model.
The SportsLine Projection Model, known for simulating every NBA game 10,000 times, has consistently delivered impressive results over the past five seasons, with over $10,000 in profit for $100 players on its top-rated NBA picks. It enters Week 2 of the 2023-24 NBA season on a 77-41 roll for all top-rated NBA picks dating back to the last season, offering substantial returns to those who have followed its advice.
Reasons for the Knicks’ potential success in this game include their strong defensive performance, which has been a hallmark since the previous season. In 2022-23, the Knicks led the league in points allowed in the paint (45.9 per game) and ranked among the top five in field goal percentage allowed (46.2%) and fast break points allowed (12.7 per game). They also excelled in securing defensive rebounds, boasting a 72.7% rate, and are currently leading the league with an 80.7% defensive rebound rate for the 2023-24 season. The Knicks have limited opponents to an average of only 8.3 second-chance points per game, while also allowing just 31.7% shooting from beyond the arc.
Furthermore, the Knicks demonstrated their prowess on the road last season, finishing in the top five of the league in win-loss record (24-17) and net rating (+1.5) in away games. They exhibit strong offensive capabilities, ranking in the top five for 3-pointers per game, offensive rebound rate, and second-chance points to begin the current season. Their offensive efficiency is evident as well, having scored 1.17 points per possession last season, ranking fourth in the league. The Knicks’ depth adds to their overall strength.
On the other side, the Cavaliers have a notable defensive presence, particularly with Evan Mobley leading the way. The 22-year-old center is averaging 11.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game this season, and he was recognized as a first-team All-Defensive player in the previous season. Cleveland boasts significant size in the frontcourt, limiting opponents to only 11.0 second-chance points per game this season. The team is also averaging 6.7 blocks per game and conceding fewer than 21 free throw attempts per contest.
Throughout an 82-game season last year, the Cavaliers topped the NBA in defensive efficiency, allowing just 109.9 points per 100 possessions. They also excelled in assists allowed, turnovers forced, and limiting opponents in multiple aspects, such as 3-pointers, second-chance points, and points in the paint.
In summary, the upcoming game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the New York Knicks holds the potential for a competitive matchup, with both teams possessing strengths on both ends of the court. To make informed predictions, taking into account the performance of both teams and the insights from the SportsLine Projection Model is advised.